For museums, legacy collections of archaeological materials purchased from the antiquities market in the past are problematic in multiple respects. By any modern definition, they are loot: objects removed from their original contexts without regard to their find-spots (provenience), conveyed through a black market with no record of a chain of title (provenance), offered openly by sellers with no rightful claim of ownership to buyers with no scruples about receiving stolen goods. Thus such legacy collections were, are, and always will be tainted to a certain extent by their origins. As the name implies, however, legacy collections are just that, older collections accumulated in an era before the widespread application of international conventions on the trade and trafficking of cultural property. All major museums and most minor ones founded before the mid-twentieth century AD are implicated. The Semitic Museum at Harvard University, established in 1889, is no exception. However, the...
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Research Article| February 01 2017
A Complicated Legacy: The Original Collections of the Semitic Museum
Joseph A. Greene
Joseph A. Greene
Semitic Museum, Harvard University, 6 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138; email@example.com
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Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies (2017) 5 (1): 57–69.
Joseph A. Greene; A Complicated Legacy: The Original Collections of the Semitic Museum. Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies 1 February 2017; 5 (1): 57–69. doi: https://doi.org/10.5325/jeasmedarcherstu.5.1.0057
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